Tag Archives: Caring about others

Our Lives are in Our Hands

Living in the Spirit
July 13, 2017

Scripture Reading: Psalm 119:105-112

I hold my life in my hand continually,
   but I do not forget your law.
The wicked have laid a snare for me,
   but I do not stray from your precepts.
Your decrees are my heritage forever;
   they are the joy of my heart.
I incline my heart to perform your statutes
   forever, to the end. –Psalm 119:109-112

Our lives are in our hands; sometimes we do not like to admit it but we have been given free will. We choose how we respond to life’s challenges whether caused by the wicked or the result of our own mistakes or perhaps because we were in the wrong place at the wrong time. We do need to learn from being on the losing end of other’s greed and lust for power and from our mistakes and even learn when possible to avoid wrong places.

There is a lot of greed and lust for power going around right now. Both ebb and flow but are always present in one form or another. Our response must involve not allowing those sins to catch us in their snares. How envious are we of those with wealth and power? Do we assume they know more than we do because of their status? They do not. My Dad would say, “They put their pants on just like we do, one leg at a time.” Some know more some less because they are human just like the rest of us. Some use their wealth and power for good; others squander it as in the story of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–32). Jesus warned us about money when he said, Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust consume and where thieves break in and steal; but store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust consumes and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. (Matthew 6:19-21)

Prayer: Lord, order our lives and guide us in your ways so that we may be filled with the joy of living your love. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the new Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights are reserved.


Preach the gospelEpiphany
Celebration of God
Manifested in the World
January 30, 2015

 Scripture Reading: 1 Corinthians 8:1-13

But take care that this liberty of yours does not somehow become a stumbling-block to the weak. For if others see you, who possess knowledge, eating in the temple of an idol, might they not, since their conscience is weak, be encouraged to the point of eating food sacrificed to idols? So by your knowledge those weak believers for whom Christ died are destroyed. But when you thus sin against members of your family, and wound their conscience when it is weak, you sin against Christ. Therefore, if food is a cause of their falling, I will never eat meat, so that I may not cause one of them to fall. — 1 Corinthians 8:9-13

 We do not have to deal with the question of whether food offered to idols was in some way wrong. We do have to face the fact that the way we live says probably more about how others interpret Christ through us than all the words we may utter. Our actions or more often our lack of actions do speak louder than words.

I enjoy the special segments on the evening news that attempt to introduce some of life’s positive moments. Some person goes out of their way to help a stranger. Those stories tell us that there is still good in the world. Truth is such actions should be so common place that they are considered news at all.

Our scripture today is taking this idea one step further. We are called to not temp others in areas of their weaknesses. Paul essentially said that the meat offered to idols is just meat and it was OK to eat it, unless our eating it impacted someone negatively for whom the meat still held some connection to the idol. What about serving wine for dinner to guests who include a recovering alcoholic? What about saying to someone trying to control their weight, “O, you can have one of these cookies, I took the calories out?’

Prayer: Lord, give me the strength to enter into the weakness of others with empathy and accompany them in their quest to overcome whatever is separating them from you. Amen.

All scriptures are quoted from the New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicized Edition, copyright 1989, 1995, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of Churches of Christ in the United States of American. Used by permission. All rights reserved.